The guys over at App Advice got to talk with Dissident, the creator of the infamous cracked app store AppTrackr. In this candid but revealing chat, Dissident shared some interesting numbers about iPhone app piracy.

According to Dissident, Installous, the app used to download these cracked applications is installed on 4 million iPhones, which represents about 4% of all iOS devices in the world. That’s insane, isn’t it?

Last week we reported about the logic behind iPhone app piracy. Dissident holds the same kind of speech. Here are some of the excerpts from his interview:

I know for a fact that a good share of our users trial applications, and that’s the only reason I continue to work for the community. A very, very considerable portion of our users do so. The user should be able to have a risk-free trial of the application. The user should not have to purchase the application for any amount of money. The user should be given ample time for testing. This trial system should be available for all applications. Developers can be given some flexibility on a per-app basis, but abuse cannot be tolerated and the policy cannot be too lenient.

I do agree that Apple should let people try out applications for a period of 24 hours. I however doubt the honesty of Dissident when he claims his service’s sole goal is to help people try applications out.

Apple can work around the edges to either please us or displease us, and that’s really all it comes down to. Indeed, our services will no longer be required if Apple implements such a system.

I don’t believe one word of that.

What about you? What do you think about app piracy? Do you download cracked apps? Do you do so because you want to be able to try applications before buying them?

[9 to 5 Mac]

  • Dadditude

    The very first time I jailbroke an iPhone, I admit I did dabble in cracked apps. But I quickly began feeling guilty over doing so, and quit. I’ve never looked back. With so many developers voluntarily offering trial versions of their apps, along with a substantial movement towards so-called “fermium” apps, the need (or even desire) to use cracked apps just isn’t there.

    In addition, sites such as and keep me plenty busy with legitimate free apps every day.

    • Killasmitty

      I love to pirate apps, heck I would pirate an app in Steve jobs FACE! And then do it again and the only way I would pay for an app is unless I really wanted it and their is no cracked version but I haven’t had that problem yet……why pay for something u can get free

      • John

        If you use it and like it then pay for it is my rule, if it sucks delete it!

      • babycakes

        what do you use to crack apps?

  • Dissident is absolutely correct.

    Look, I download cracked apps all the time. The ones I’ve kept for more than a day or so, I’ve always ended up buying so I can get automatic updates for them. It’s just that simple, really. If I don’t like an app or end up not using it, then I don’t buy it.

    95% of the cracked apps I’ve gotten I’ve deleted in under a day. The other 5% have led to purchases of those apps. Anybody who thinks it’s about piracy is deluded. Why go to all that trouble just to save a couple of bucks? Hell, automatic updates alone are generally worth that much.

  • Danny413

    With installous 3 that just came out, you can download any app and it will alert you when the update comes out and you can get it for free

  • Dayne Jones

    @Otto… I see your point but its not delusion to think that downloading paid apps for free is piracy. It’s actually quite funny you said that because when you read it, it’s well… contradictory.

    Anyways, I’m with you in that 95% of the cracked apps I download get deleted pronto. I can’t say that I haven’t kept apps that I liked though. But then there is the philosophy that I would never have paid for that app… which is most likely the case.

    Take Beejive for example. I wanted the best IM app out there so I downloaded a cracked version of Beejive. It didn’t work because they are good at piracy protection. I ended up moving on to a free app from the app store instead of risking the $10+ they want for their software. So now I’m not paying for their product AND I don’t know how good it is. A full featured trial would solved this.

  • Nick

    I download cracked apps try and if I like I buy.I never keep a cracked app for more than a day.
    I always want to get the updates.The cost is soooooooo minimal for these apps.

  • Albioni

    I have downloaded cracked aps since 2 years ago and a lot of them.
    All the apps that I like I ended up buying and the ones that I don’t deleting. Honestly I agree with dissident 100% and I know all my friends and family are doing the same thing. I would like to thank all the people that make this available very much, they have saved me from wasting a lot of money.

  • Albioni

    Olso would like to thank free cracked repos available in cydia, as I do the same thing with cydia apps to, no matter how expensive an application is if is useful to me I try the full version and than I will honest to god buy it

  • Mezz

    its just like downaloading free music. if its free why not download it.

  • John

    Agree, you should have 48 hours like Google gives you. Nothing makes me more mad then paying for an app and having the app royally suck or buggy.

  • Mac

    They have to say stolen apps instead
    Of cracked.

    • Mac

      Why change the name to cover the crime

  • rizo

    The only reason i download cracked apps is because i live in south africa and i cant pay in dollars … Im only 18 and i dont have a credit card which is a basic requirement for purchading apps in the app store… Ive even tried paypal but it dont work

  • Vladimir

    I download cracked apps all the time and if I like them I keep them cause I’m a thief and I don’t like paying money for things I can get for free 🙂

    • Mezz

      Hells yeah…people here download from installous then if they like they buy? So if some one gave them a free iPhone 4 they would use it and I they like they buy it instead of keeping it…
      Lol yeah right!!! If it’s free take until it’s not.. That’s how I roll

  • I had it installed once, and that was to test what GPS app to get.
    And i’m happy I did, I tried out TomTom, iGo and Navigon, had I not done it I would have spent a whole lot of money on an app I would have hated.
    The reason is that I had very good experience with iGo on Windows Mobile but the iPhone app sucks big time.
    I ended up buying Navigon since on iPhone it is the far superior alternative of the three.
    So for iGo piracy was bad but for Navigon it was good since I could test it first and then buy it.

    In general apps are dirt cheap on iPhone so I don’t mind paying, I have hundreds of apps that I used maybe once but still payed for, sucks but I think it eliminates a lot of piracy when the price is so low.
    But for the expensive apps a test system is really needed.

  • dAAni

    i actually have to agree to that, i have downloaded alot of cracked apps from apptrackr to later buy them.

  • Col

    I ‘tried out’ TomTom for the life of my 3GS becuse I paid for the app twice over in the bad old Windows mobile days so I figured they owed me one. I finally paid up when my Jailbreak became unstable and I restored. Also tried out Navigon and didn’t like it, so that was useful.

  • Rainrose

    I used to have installous so I can just try an app and If I like it I buy it at app store..:)

  • bob

    There has to be more pirated apps, i just download the .ipa file of the game and drag it into itunes and sync it with my ipod. And it wont completely stop piracy if they implement a 24 hour system, people will want that app longer if not forever…

  • amit

    i think that if there was a 24 hour system(offical apple timer) then hackers would find a way to ‘unlock’ the full version within the app (since its all the same hack) then there would be no need for installous and things could be even worse!

    worse for apple, not pirates 🙂

  • ditto as dadditude.

  • Wow amazing

  • Vik071

    I downloaded, I download, I will download.

  • Dinozilla

    If one is barred by the price, one will get the crack app, and use it, if its not available, then so be it, one don’t use it
    If one is choose to use pirated/crack app, you have no way to stop one doing so
    If one will test, then buy the app or when it is at promo, one will buy it when it is acceptable.

    so….what so troubling?

  • Jason masters

    Lol would you drive a cracked car versus a stolen car?

  • chiaph

    i do download cracked application using installous to try application before buying from apple store. who would want to spend $50 plus on a single nagavtion application without trying it out first to ensure it suit us right?

  • Killasmitty

    I love to pirate apps, heck I would pirate an app in Steve jobs FACE! And then do it again 🙂 and the only way I would pay for an app is unless I really wanted it and their is no cracked version but I haven’t had that problem yet……why pay for something u can get free

  • TBui123

    I wrote a long comment last week in response to the pirate apps article. My feelings are the same this week, piracy is stealing. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to alot of you (those who left comments saying so) until one day, you have a great idea and sent your time and energy develop or wite an app, then you put it up on the apps store (or cydia) for $.99 cents, then some wise ass cracked the code and pirates your apps then put it up on the web for every one to copy free at will. If you are the one who design that apps, how would you feel?
    Some dumb ass leaves this comment after my comments from the article last week: “You can’t rob IP. Would you prefer someone to pirate your app worth $0.99 or take something physical say a drink worth $0.99 from you.” what kind of idiotic question is that, you have to steal a drink worth $.99 to be considered stealing, and steal some one intellectual property is not stealing? Stealing intellectual property is far worse than steal a cup of coffee… Look at the statistic from this article, $.99 cent times 4 millions time is how much?
    I know we are not living in a perfect world, but trying to justify piracy is just wrong. No matter how smart you are, pirating, copying some one else ip is not right. You pay hundreds of dollars for your iDevice, pay a few more dollars for your apps.
    If you use the free trial version, and when it expires, you keep wanting to use it more, then you should pay for it, plain and simple…

  • That’s a big figure you go there!
    But it doesnt come as a shock to me… since so many iPhones are sold and cracked illegally…

  • Some people dont like it and i know this is not a good way to using these applications but some times i enjoy it a lot.

  • Make that 4,000,001 haha.

  • I also downloaded so many how about you, keep downloading

  • Derrick

    I pirate a lot of apps. I have only ever paid for the ones I loved and used regularly. Which comes to about 5. (only for the updates) All the rest don’t last on my phone for a day. If I bought those on the apps store I would of been pissed and burnt and end up not buying a thing again. If you wanna pay then pay. If you don’t then use it for free.

  • Jon Garrett

    I for one am happy with the fact that I download “illegal” apps. not saying its right though, but the reason is that the vast majority of apps Ive downloaded (nearly 500 apps) really suck. they either don’t work as claimed or they are really over-hyped.

    on the other hand, Ive had no qualms about paying $20 each (my phone and my wife’s) for MyWi and $3.99 each for My3G and $9.99 each for Intelliscreen.

    Im willing to pay…..for well designed and useful apps.

    I will NOT however, pay for one of the many many dozens of
    – fart noise apps
    – todo apps
    – camera apps
    – wifi finder apps.

  • Nate

    I wanted to try super street fighter 4 but wasn’t gonna pay 10 bucks for it so I got the cracked version tried and now I own it meanwhile I wanted to try cooking mama got it and deleted it.

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